A young man in a brown apron sits at a wood-topped counter and looks at the smartphone in his hand. Next to him on the counter are an open laptop and several bouquets in vases. In the background are several shelves designed to look as if they're made of halved tree trunks. The shelves hold various potted plants.
Once you've set up shop on Facebook Marketplace, be ready for customer questions. You can talk directly with current and potential customers through Facebook Messenger. — Getty Images/AsiaVision

More than one in three Americans on Facebook "use Marketplace each month to buy and sell things," according to Meta (formerly Facebook). Facebook Marketplace began as a peer-to-peer selling platform, connecting individual buyers and sellers. However, you can also sell as a business by uploading products from your Shopify or BigCommerce store.

Facebook users can view your public listing on the Marketplace, through search, and in their feeds. Here's how your small business can sell through Facebook Marketplace.

Meet Facebook's requirements

Facebook allows three types of businesses to sell inventory on the Marketplace: e-commerce and retail, automotive, and real estate. All require a Facebook Business account, page, and shop. But Facebook lists several products you can't sell on Marketplace, including gift cards, digital media and electronic devices, event tickets, and health care items.

Before investing your time, read through Facebook's terms and policies:

Ensure timely shipping

BigCommerce highlighted the importance of fast shipping and correct inventory counts, stating that "orders must be shipped within three days and received within seven days." If you handcraft your items, be careful during times of increased demand. Overselling yourself could violate the shipping policies and create negative buyer experiences.

[Read more: How to Monetize Facebook]

Sign up for Facebook Shop and Checkout

Open a Facebook Shop, upload your catalog, and choose a payment format. Options include letting customers pay via Facebook or Instagram, completing the purchase on your website, or accepting payment through direct message. All methods require businesses follow the rules and terms above.

In addition, you'll need to add payout details in Facebook's Commerce Manager for Facebook Checkout. Signing up for Facebook Checkout means third-party payment processors complete your transactions and appear as the merchant of record. Facebook currently waives the standard selling fee and will do so through December 31, 2022.

After this date, Facebook may automatically deduct a selling fee from your payment. Facebook lists its standard selling fees as "5% per shipment or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less." By signing up, you agree to ship orders within three days or an agreed-upon time and to provide tracking information. According to Facebook, "payouts will be received within 30 days after you've marked the order as shipped."

Overselling yourself could violate the shipping policies and create negative buyer experiences.

Set up Facebook Marketplace

Automotive and real estate companies can enter inventory manually. Click on "Create New Listing" on Marketplace to add descriptions of your offers. This feature is also available to individuals. Those with a retail or online store need to connect through a listing partner, such as Shopify, Salsify, or BigCommerce. Your e-commerce platform will provide instructions for syncing your online store to Facebook. This typically includes adding Marketplace as a sales channel in Commerce Manager.

[Read more: 5 Tips for a Killer Small Business Facebook Strategy]

Optimize your Facebook Marketplace listings

Facebook Marketplace offers 19 retail categories, including home goods, apparel, and pet supplies. But the categories available to you may differ based on your e-commerce platform. High-quality product photos and detailed descriptions improve the shopper experience and your reach. Additionally, your listing sets expectations and conveys the right impression, potentially reducing pre-sales questions.

Improve your Marketplace listings by:

  • Adding up to 10 high-quality product photos.
  • Putting keywords in the product's title and description.
  • Choosing a price, condition, subcategory, and product availability.
  • Providing an optional stock-keeping unit (SKU) number, product tags, or color options.

Be ready to answer questions

You've likely already prepared a list of FAQs for your website. You understand what questions people ask about your products based on customer service, sales, or billing department feedback. If you don't, you may want to draft sample responses to questions sent through Facebook Messenger.

Quick responses and a professional, friendly tone can increase trust and help you build long-term relationships with customers. Write short, informative messages that answer each question and, when necessary, direct shoppers to a link with more information or ask if they'd like to discuss it over the phone.

[Read more: 3 Simple (Yet Effective) Facebook and Instagram Tools That Enhance Customer Relationships]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published July 06, 2022